Marketplace PM for December 17, 2004

Episode Description 

For Sale: Huge Russian oil company

There's going to be a big auction in Russia this weekend. The price will be near $13 billion. That's about half of what the Russian government says the oil giant Yukos owes in back taxes. Moscow today brushed off an injunction from a U.S. bankruptcy judge blocking the sale of Yukos's production units. Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

Who will run the World Bank?

The World Bank is in the market for some human capital. Come next May, Jim Wolfensohn will end his term as president. And as you might imagine ... the Washington rumor mill is running wild with talk of who'll get the job. But no matter who it is, commentator and writer Sebastian Mallaby says it's time for some command and control at the World Bank.

The week that was on Wall Street

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks to investment banker David Johnson about whats happening on Wall Street.

Santa Claus ... banned from coming to town?

The image of that chubby-cheeked guy in the red coat was actually the invention of a 19th Century German immigrant to this country. Santa really took off in the 1930's when Coca-Cola popularized him in its ads. But this year, Germans and Austrians are campaigning to ditch Santa Claus. They say his worldwide popularity is commercialism run amok. They want to return to a less flamboyant Nikolaus - the 4th century saint that Santa is based on. Kyle James reports from Berlin.

The Best Gift Ever - Brad Bird

Another installment of The Best Gift Ever! Visit <A href="http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/gift2004/index.html">The Best Gift Ever Index Page.</A>

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